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Keeping up or Falling behind? The Impact of Benefit and Tax Uprating on Incomes and Poverty

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  • Holly Sutherland
  • Ruth Hancock
  • John Hills
  • Francesca Zantomio

Abstract

Each year, the Government decides how much to raise benefits and tax allowances. In the UK the basis for these upratings is rarely debated, yet has major long-term consequences for the relative living standards of different groups as well as for the public finances. This paper considers the medium term implications of present uprating policies which vary across parameters of the tax-benefit system. Continuing for 20 years, other things staying the same, would result in a near doubling of the child poverty rate alongside a substantial gain to the public finances. At the same time pensioners are largely protected by the earnings indexation of pensioner benefits and, in time, the basic state pension. We show how difficult it will be to meet the UK child poverty targets unless the greater inequality inherent in the current regime for uprating payments and allowances is redressed.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Institute for Fiscal Studies in its journal Fiscal Studies.

Volume (Year): 29 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 467-498

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Handle: RePEc:ifs:fistud:v:29:y:2008:i:4:p:467-498

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Cited by:
  1. Olivier Bargain & Mathias Dolls & Herwig Immervoll & Dirk Neumann & Andreas Peichl & Nico Pestel & Sebastian Siegloch, 2011. "Tax policy and income inequality in the U.S., 1978—2009: A decomposition approach," Working Papers 215, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  2. Magda, Iga & Bukowski, Maciej & Buchholz, Sonia & Lewandowski, Piotr & Chrostek, Paweł & Kamińska, Agnieszka & Lis, Maciej & Potoczna, Monika & Myck, Michał & Kundera, Michał & Oczkowska, Monika, 2013. "Employment in Poland 2011 - Poverty and jobs," MPRA Paper 50185, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. John Hills & Alari Paulus & Holly Sutherland & Iva Tasseva, 2014. "A lost decade? Decomposing the effect of 2001-11 tax-benefit policy changes on the income distribution in EU countries," ImPRovE Working Papers, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp 14/03, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
  4. Figari, Francesco & Matsaganis, Manos & Sutherland, Holly, 2011. "The financial well-being of older people in Europe and the redistributive effects of minimum pension schemes," EUROMOD Working Papers EM7/11, EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.

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